Update 16/5/2013 (full details below):
Abdul has been given his scheduled date for removal and flight time from the UK for early morning next Wednesday 22nd May at 00.10am. He is understandably very worried about this but his many friends continue to support him in every way they can.
What you can do:
– first and foremost, sign the petition at the website below:
– write to your local MP (or the relevant office for external affairs if you’re outside of the UK)
– write to Home Secretary, Theresa May MP at firstname.lastname@example.org
– copy your email to Minister for Immigration, Mark Harper MP, at email@example.com
– telephone the office of the Home Secretary, Theresa May MP, on +44(0)20 7035 4848 or +44(0)870 606 7766
– telephone the office of the Minister for Immigration on +44(0)20 7035 4848 or +44(0)20 7219 5056
Let’s make a big push over the next few days to help ensure that Abdul stays.
Solidarity with Abdul!
We have been contacted by friends in Leicester about the detention of Abdul Ghafar Rajabali. As part of his asylum requirement, Abdul regularly reported to the UK Border Agency reporting station in Loughborough. However, while reporting to UKBA on Friday 10th May 2013, he was detained and held at Loughborough police station. From there, he was to be transferred to Morton Hall Detention Centre in Lincolnshire to await his removal back to Afghanistan. Morton Hall Visitors’ Group are aware of this.
Petition | Release Abdul Ghafar Rajabali and halt his deportation | Change.org
Here’s Abdul’s story in brief:
Abdul is being held in Morton Hall Detention Centre awaiting deportation to Afghanistan
He fled Afghanistan as a teenager to avoid the option of being either press-ganged into the Taliban or shot
His father was Russian and all his family were consequently murdered in connection with this
He arrived in the UK six years ago, when still a minor
He now knows no one in Afghanistan, would be unable to cope and would be in extreme danger there
He suffers from post-traumatic stress syndrome and has other medical problems
He has made many friends in Leicester, helps out with Leicester City of Sanctuary based at the Cathedral and participates in a local anti-racist/anti-fascist football team, FC Kolektivo Victoria – https://www.facebook.com/pages/FC-Kolektivo-Victoria/199020316797628
He is an asset to his local community
It’d be much appreciated if you could sign the petition to halt his deportation (in cases like this, they can be very useful):
Petition | Release Abdul Ghafar Rajabali and halt his deportation | Change.org
You will also find more information on his case and tips on how to help Abdul further at this website: Campaign for Abdul Ghafar Rajabali
Also, if you could forward this info to anyone else you reckon would support Abdul, that’d be ace.
New blog exposing UKBA immigration raiders, in the style of Fitwatch:
We are the friends and neighbours of detainees and deportees, some of us are migrants ourselves, some of us not. We are fellow human beings who give a damn about the invisible suffering of asylum seekers and undocumented migrants; a suffering that happens on a daily basis.
That injustice is not just the result of a nebulous system. It needs individuals willing to capitalise on it. Those individuals are the Ministers and the senior civil servants making policy decisions, but also the Immigration Officers prepared to carry out the dirty work. Although they may be at the bottom of the echelon, they still make a hefty sum from this business. After all, it’s probably not that easy to find people who can inflict such suffering on other human beings and remain unaffected by it.
These officers are few in number and need to be exposed. If they have the shamelessness and arrogance to show their faces on shows like UK Border Force, given what they are responsible for, they can be identified here. These people are given free reign to do what they can to detain and deport migrants without ‘permission’ to be here. They act with total impunity. We need to challenge the acceptability of this profession. We need to challenge the norm of immigration control.
While they bear full responsibility for their actions, even these officers do not see the full picture. For a start, the sector is sanitised with terms like removal and pre-departure accomodation; and of course it is also criminalised with concepts such as illegal immigrant and sham marriage. Secondly, Immigration Officers are ignorant – whether willingly or not – of what migrants have experienced prior to the encounter with them, and are equally ignorant of or refuse to engage with what might happen to these people as a result of their work.
We are doing this for all those assaulted or killed by UKBA officers or their corporate partners – deaths which have gone barely investigated – and for those who’ve died or suffered after deportation. We are doing this for approximately 3,000 people currently held in the in misery of British detention centres; for the asylum seekers who’ve been pushed to self-harm or suicide whilst being held indefinitely in immigration detention, with the fear hanging over them of being returned to persecution, torture, female genital mutilation, rape, or war. We are doing this for the friends ripped away from us, for the families torn apart. It’s time to expose the lies and shine a light on these collaborators.
The government has admitted that it has tried to forcibly remove tens of thousands of people from the UK unlawfully (Guardian newspaper website 22nd March 2013).
March 23, 2013: Periodic controls and arrests in the Pashtu jungle and in town
During the past weeks the police have been frequently entering the jungles and performing ID controls and arresting people, taking them to Coquelles and trying to deport many back to other European countries (under Dublin II), particularly Italy.
It has started to become daily raids again in the jungles. On Friday (22nd) morning about 20 people were arrested. 17 people were released, three were taken to detention.
Also people are being harassed in the parks a lot, with the same police officers ID controlling the same people repeatedly again and again in the same day, sometimes after only minutes, including those who have papers for France.
And people are again being picked up late at night for ID controls in town, not just by the port, and held over night in cells at the police station illegally. It is illegal for the police to detain people for ID controls for more than 4 hours (from the moment they are stopped) and they are not allowed to hold them in custody cells at all for the purposes of ID controls. Yet this continues to be routinely ignored.
More about Calais Migrant Solidarity: http://calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com/
Latest Morton Hall update, also on Nottingham Indymedia. 17th Jan 2013.
Another Hunger Strike at Morton Hall
A number of detainees have been on hunger strike inside Morton Hall IRC for as many as 9 days. Abbas Ayub, a Pakistani national said 3 men were protesting because they want to be returned to their countries of birth but the UK Borders Agency continues to detain them. Abbas said he had been refusing food since last Monday because he has been detained since May, even though he has agreed to return to Pakistan voluntarily. He said that no one from UKBA had spoken to him about his protest. “I just want to go back” he told No Borders Nottingham.
Indefinite detention is a deeply controversial part of the UK’s immigration detention system. According to Nick Hardwick, the chief inspector of prisons, speaking last month, some immigration detainees have “simply been forgotten”. One Somali migrant has been held for 9 years after he completed his prison sentence.
The hunger strike is the most recent in a series of protests by Morton Hall prisoners regarding their treatment over the last twelve months. On Wednesday 9th Jan, a Sudanese detainee attempted suicide by slitting his wrists. Friends of the man said that he was frustrated and angry at his long period of detention. Prior to this, a peaceful protest involving between 30 and 40 detainees took place on Christmas Eve. Prisoners had been left without running water, working toilets or cooked food for a number of days.
This is not the first hunger strike inside Morton Hall. In July 2011 an estimated 100 detainees went on hunger strike due to their treatment by the authorities. Two detainees scaled the centre’s rooftops and threatened to jump within less than 24 hours of each other. The detainees, originally from Palestine and Malaysia, were protesting at the ‘disrespectful’ and ‘inhumane’ treatment they experienced, including being detained for prolonged periods.
No Borders Nottingham activist Geoff Bates said “This hunger strike is only the most recent manifestation of ongoing resistance to this country’s inhuman migration control system. The indefinite detention of migrant detainees is an act of violence by the state on vulnerable members of our community and it must end.”
Morton Hall in revolt again – Published: January 03, 2013
The situation in Morton Hall immigration detention centre is at boiling point again after a series of incidents around Christmas. The trigger for events was another serious breach of their responsibilities by the detention centre management who failed to deal swiftly with disruptions to the water supply. A large number of detainees refused to return to their cells in protest. A serious disturbance on Christmas Eve resulted in a detainee ending up in hospital with a serious head injury and injuries to a number of prison officers. There was also a thwarted escape attempt on Christmas Day.
According to No Deportations the situation that sparked the incident was grim: there was a serious water supply failure, before the incident, all toilets blocked, no running water whatsoever, no cooked meals, detainees given sandwiches and cold drinks …
Full article on Nottingham Indymedia: http://nottingham.indymedia.org/articles/4699
Solidarity demo at Morton Hall detention centre, December 16, 2012
Hunger strike at Morton Hall immigration centre, July 25, 2012
As chaos and confusion dominate the transition to the new G4S asylum accommodation contracts in Yorkshire and the Humber, John Grayson from the South Yorkshire Migration and Asylum Action Group (SYMAAG) explains how the new delivery model works (or doesn’t), drawing on recent cases from the region. Full article: http://www.corporatewatch.org/?lid=4494
For details about Refugee Week in Nottingham, see: http://www.refugeeweek.org.uk/In-Your-Area/East-Midlands/E-Midlands
Launch event 16th June: http://www.nottinghamcontemporary.org/event/celebrating-refugee-week
Facebook event page for the 16th: http://www.facebook.com/events/477047238978176/
Be sure to pick up a copy of the excellent Notts Refugee week paper ‘Beyond Borders’ which can be found at venues all around town.
Update – Regional Demonstration: Thursday 1st March. Assemble: 12.30 at Sheffield Town Hall . March to UK Borders Agency Regional HQ at Vulcan House, Millsands S3 8NS
Follow the link to the South Yorkshire Migration and Asylum Action Group website http://www.SYMAAG.org.uk for a report on a demonstration on February 15th 2012 against G4S bid to house asylum seekers in the Yorkshire and Humberside region.
Article link: http://www.symaag.org.uk/2012/02/15/demonstration-success/
G4S currently run detention centres and engage in removal of asylum seekers.
“Speak Out” a newsletter produced by detainees can be downloaded here . . . .
Speak Out – Detainee Newsletter – Oct 2011
(Update: Sorry, there seems to be a problem with the file upload – while we try and fix it, please just email below to get the newsletter).
This newsletter is an idea of a detainee in UK Border Agency’s detention since 2008 and contains experiences of his own and others ill treatment by UKBA and its private contractors.
For more information or to submit articles for the next issue contact:
Email: Ruhul Anam ruhul_99 [at] live.co.uk
or Email: newsletter [at] gdwg.org.uk